Interview: Mystery Skulls


If you’re a child of the 90s, you’ll recognize Mystery Skulls as a reference to a nostalgic Nickelodeon television show. However, if you’re a Spotify user, or you’re known to fall victim to YouTube click-a-thons, you know that this name is still alive and well in the form of a one-man electro-pop outfit who’s recently been blowing up the airwaves and interwebs.

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Watch SXSW festivalgoers try to offer opinons about made up bands

liewitnessJimmy Kimmel put the people of SXSW in the situation of being asked to comment on bands that are completely made up. Not having heard of bands like DJ Heavy Flow and Tonya and the Hardings did not stop several people from offering their opinion. Watch [Read more…]

DIIV and Foxygen: SXSW Meltdowns and Rants

SXSW is more interesting than usual this year. First there was this fantastic rant by DIIV frontman Zachary Cole Smith:

“Hi Austin. Fuck SXSW. There… I said it.

Here, the music comes last. 5 minute set-up, no sound check, 15 minute set. The ‘music’ element is all a front, it’s the first thing to be compromised. Corporate money everywhere but in the hands of the artists, at what is really just a glorified corporate networking party. Drunk corporate goons and other industry vampires and cocaine. Everyone is drunk, being cool. ‘Official’ bureaucracy and all their mindless rules. Branding, branding, branding. It’s bullshit… sorry.”

And now the lead singer of Foxygen is having his turn. After announcing to the crowd that he was exhausted and that his voice was shot, a few people in the crowd began heckling him. Then this happened:

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Band Alert – Il Abanico

Audio Intention

The Google Spanish to English translation for “abanico” is a fan. In the music culture, Il Abanico is a glistening pop outfit from Bogotá, Colombia. The band consists of Nicolas Losada on a guitar, Julianna Ronderos on a microphone and supporting members on various experimental instruments. Il Abanico is music that shines beautiful rays across the room. One hear of Ronderos’ voice and you can grasp a distinctive allurement to their sweet melodic sounds. This band is currently residing in Brooklyn and playing many regular shows around Williamsburg. If you haven’t checked out their music, get a free download of their Crossing Colors EP on their bandcamp. Il Abanico will also be attending SXSW, so feel free to visit their facebook to stalk them at that love fest.

VIDEO: 24hrs at SXSW

SXSW is over, but Brooklyn resident Jake Roper put together this nice video for those of us who couldn’t make it to the yearly Austin event. Watch it below and experience all the pedicab-taking, carousel-riding, maximum occupancy-violating fun that you may (or may not) have missed this month.

24hrs at SXSW from Jake Roper on Vimeo.

The Case Against Christopher Weingarten

Today, a proposal for a SXSW 2011 panel went up and caused quite a stir on the music blogger circuit.

The kids who invested hours downloading discographies and reading band bios have emerged from their parents’ “computer rooms” to become bonafide tastemakers. Armed with diverse external hard drives and an Internet savvy built on constantly prowling for more, these home office dwellers are inspiring droves of people to seek out new music. Seeing as Nickelback was last decade’s “most successful band,” and Rolling Stone Magazine extensively covers the Twilight movies, this army of blogging youths is vastly considered to be a blessing.

So far so good, right? Well, not if you’re Christopher Weingarten– the Rolling Stone/Village Voice/etc. contributor who inspired the panel in the first place, aptly named Curatorial Culture: The Case Against Christopher Weingarten. Ouch. You probably know Chris better as self-proclaimed “Last Rock Critic Standing” and the man behind 1000TimesYes, or for his absolute hatred of people like, well, probably me.

The thing is, a lot of times, we find ourselves agreeing with what Weingarten has to say. I mean, the guy is full of music opinion, awesome one-liners, but also what I sense to be a frustration with not being able to keep up– and I know the feeling. But according to the man behind the possible panel, Sawyer Jacobs, the Head of, um, Friendship at Underwater Peoples (for those of you who aren’t sure what that means, it’s just another way to say marketing if you’re a laid back kind of record label), the Curatorial Culture isn’t meant as an attack but as a conversation about a difference of opinion. “While it’s title may suggest combativeness, it is in fact a thesis infused with positivism,” Jacobs insists, “I fervently believe that personalized curating is the future of cultural criticism.”

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